Cost of finished basement

km34567March 2, 2011

I am comparing bids from tow builders, both of whom we have asked to finish our basement. The basement will also incude a half bath. Both builders have quoted approximately the same cose ($29000) but one builder is finishing 1300 sq ft and the other 800 sq ft. When finishing the basement does that difference in square footage translate into the same cost difference as if you were to compare differences in square footage in first or second floor living space? I would think it would not be as hard or costly to finish 500 sq feet of basement as it would to add 500 sq feet to a first floor for instance.

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I don't understand--one builder's quote is for 1300 sf and the other is for 800 sf, but each had the same price?

We finished our basement in our last house about 4 or 5 yrs ago. We hired the subcontractors ourselves--it's less expensive that way. Our 1100 sf of basement ended up costing less than $15k (central IL).

The walls were already studded, the baths already plumbed at the time the house was built. We first had an electrician come in to run electrical where we wanted it and next a plumber to put in the tub (he came back later to put in the toilet and sink). We added insulation ourselves. Then the dry-wallers came. We cleaned up after the dry-wall crew ourselves. We painted. Had the flooring put in. Added cabinetry. We were going to do the trim work ourselves, but hubby was so busy that we realized it was never going to get done, so then we hired a carpenter to do the trim. Electrician came back to install some sconces, etc. Done.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 11:05AM
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Did 1500 sq ft myself for about $15k - roughly 2k for framing, 1k for electric (some DIY), 3k for drywall, 2k for trim/doors, 1k for paint, 2k for HVAC, 2k for carpet (really cheap stuff), Still have 1k for tile and 1k for plumbing to go.

So - boy does $29k sound like a lot either way. My builder had wanted $18+15% (so about $21k) to do ours.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 5:22PM
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Why didn't you ask them to bid the same thing?

Let's say you have a bathroom, stairs to finish, a closet and a heat supply. If you have those things in both bids the additional square footage of the larger basement is merely tile/carpet and some drywall. I would go back and ask them to bid the exact same thing. Same square footage, layout, flooring, faucet, stair details, heating, insulation, etc. I would also ask for a copy of the contract they would propose.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 8:56PM
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If I might hijack the thread a moment......

David--if you don't mind and have the time, would you please email me the subcontractors you used for your basement (electrical and drywall). I guess now would be a good time to subscribe to Angie's List to get recommendations on stuff like that, but it's always good to get a "personal" recommendation :-) You certainly didn't steer me wrong on the audio stuff!

We're about to get back the $6500 tax credit from the house "purchase", so we thought we'd get started on the basement this spring.

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 12:27PM
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